Taking Notice

Celebrating the accomplishments of Leeward Community College and our students, faculty, lecturers, and staff


University and College Awards

University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching
Carleen Yokotake, Professor in Speech

Leeward Award for Outstanding Service
Elizabeth “Liz" Mano, Clerk, Educational Media Center

Innovative Online Teaching Award
Meredith Lee, Instructor in English

Outstanding Lecturer
Westin ‘Ehukai Carvalho, Lecturer in Hawaiian Language

Frances Davis Award for Undergraduate Teaching
John Signor, Instructor in Music

Student Employee of the Year
Charlilani Kaheaku-Malama, Office Aide at Job Prep Services

The Sharon S. Narimatsu Faculty and Staff Development Award
Kelsie Aguilera, Assistant Professor in Anthropology


Leeward's Associate in Science in Natural Sciences degree was granted Established Status by the Board of Regents thanks to the work of Michael Reese, Bradley Ashburn, Guy Nishimoto, Heather Takamatsu, and James Goodman.

Leeward CC placed first in Career and Technical Education and second in Live Theatre in the Honolulu Star Advertiser's Hawai‘i's Best 2017!

The Leeward CC Discovery Fair featuring Weed & Seed Hawaii and Safe Communities was held on Saturday, November 5th. With almost 40 hands-on activities. Chairs of the fair are Helmut Kae, Cindy Martin, and Jenny Watada.

Leeward CC presented the eighth annual Geek Day@Leeward on Saturday, February 25, 2017. The College offered free hands-on workshops and demonstrations to the general public, with several sessions geared specifically to educators.  Chairperson was Pete Gross.

Leeward CC organized the Hawaii Great Leaders Seminar at the Kilauea Military Camp in the Volcano National Park from October 11 - 14. 2016. Nineteen participants from Hawaii, Canada and Micronesia participated in this inaugural seminar. Leeward staff/facilitators included Cindy Martin, Danny Wyatt, and Ian Riseley.

The 28th Annual Hawai‘i National Great Teachers Seminar was held in August 2016 at Kilauea Military Camp at Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i. Fifty-nine participants and 12 facilitators from across the nation, Canada, and Micronesia participated in this year’s five-day seminar. Leeward staff/facilitators included Cindy Martin, Danny Wyatt, and William Albritton.

Hawaii Publishers Association’s 32nd annual Pa‘i Awards awarded Ka Mana‘o with second place in the Student Photography category, second place in the Student Design (Print) category and second place in School Newspaper Excellence. Stanley Lee is the Ka Mana'o Advisor.

Leeward CC hosted its eighth annual Pacific Region Learning Summit from May 15 - 19, 2017. Organizers and presenters include: Leanne Riseley, Greg Walker, Rachael Inake, Brent Hirata, Wayde Oshiro, and Junie Hayashi.

Leeward Theatre won the Silver Award for Best Organization Newsletter ("Sightlines") at the International Festivals & Events Association or IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition at the Annual IFEA 61st Annual Convention, Expo and Retreat in Tuscon, Arizona.

Leeward Community College was awarded a federal Department of Education grant as part of the TRIO Educational Opportunity Centers program totaling $1.18 million over the next five years.

For the sixth year, Leeward Community College’s fine dining restaurant The Pearl was recognized with an ʻIlima Award as a “Rising Star” by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


Corey Adler, Assistant Professor in Sociology, completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Hawai`i, Manoa.

Michael Bauer, Associate Professor in ICS, served as Faculty Scholar at the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor's Institute at Wake Forest University, June 20-25, 2016. Michael presented "How the World Works: Global Perspectives" at the Phi Theta Kappa Pacific Region Honor's Institute, at Kauai Community College, September 25, 2016. He also served as Phi Theta Kappa Academy Facilitator at Catalyst 2017, at Nashville, Tennessee, April 6, 2017.

Eunice Brekke, Assistant Professor in Sociology was elected President of Hawaii’s Sociological Association.

Jeffrey Breitenfeldt, Instructor in English, presented "Embracing Smartphones in Composition Courses to Better Reach Underserved Populations" at the Two-Year College English Association Pacific Northwest Conference in October of 2016 and "Cultivating Expertise from Wicked Problems: Strategies for Using Visual Argument and Design to Improve Student Writing," at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in March 2017.

Betty Burdick, Assistant Professor in Theatre, directed performances of “Plantation Plays” performed at Hawaii’s Plantation Village and elementary schools in February.

Manny Cabral, Chancellor, was honored as the Native Hawaiian Educator of the Year for 2017 at the Native Hawaiian Education Association's 18th annual convention held at Windward Community College.

Michael Cawdery, Assistant Professor in Education, received the Wo Change Agent Award for Leeward CC’s CTE Teacher Licensure Program.

Daniela Dutra Elliott, Instructor of Botany and Horticulture, and four Plant Biology and Tropical Agriculture students presented a session at the Society of Economic Botany in Portugal, entitled, “Varietal crop research as a tool to engage with agrodiversity: An open door to interdisciplinary learning for STEM and farmer training programs and Morphological and genetic diversity of Hawaii's
‘uala (Ipomoea batatas) cultivars in an effort to engage with cultural knowledge.” Daniela also co- presented a session with Natalie Wahl, Instruction Librarian, titled, "Circulating Seeds: Why Your Library Needs a Seed Share and How to Make it Happen" at the Hawaii Library Association 2016 Conference on November 11, 2016 at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Sania Fa'amaile Betty P. Ickes, Assistant Professor, History and (pro-bono) Executive Director for Te Taki Tokelau Community, Inc. (a charitable, non-profit), was awarded a three-year grant ($789, 000) to develop and implement an ocean-focused, native language and culture revitalization curriculum.

Ann Inoshita, Instructor in English, co-authored, What We Must Remember: Linked Poems, (Bamboo Ridge Press 2017) and was a guest author at literary readings at the Honolulu Biennial (April 2017) and the Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival (May 2017). This book was featured in Honolulu Magazine’s book review (June 2017).

Warren Kawano, Assistant Professor in Business was recognized as the Western Business Education Association Outstanding Career and Technical Student Organization Advisor in February 2017. He is also the Hawaii Business Education Association (HBEA) President-elect and was awarded the HBEA Outstanding Business Educator of the Year.
Christina Keaulana, Instructor in Education received 1st Honorable Mention for the Wo Community Building Award for Leeward CC’s Special Olympics Partnership.

Ernie Libarios, retired Professor/Counselor, was selected as the recipient of the 2017 College of Education Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Hawaii College of Education Alumni Association. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Certificate by the Hawaii State Senate on March 24, 2017 for his contributions to education and the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Alyssa MacDonald, Instructor in Biology, presented a paper entitled "Evaluation of Moringa Leaves as a Prebiotic in Tilapia Aquaculture" at the International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding in Sun Valley Idaho in June 2016.

Cindy Martin, Professor/Staff Development Coordinator, Leanne Riseley, Professor/EMC Coordinator and Carleen Yokotake, Professor in Speech received the Wo Community Building Award for Leeward CC’s Teaching Excellence Program.

Leeward faculty and staff shined at the 2017 Hawaii Student Success Institute in March 2017:

  • Sandra Albers, Associate Professor, Language Arts Division, presented, “Hands-On How-To Help Your Students Read Better.”
  • Eunice Brekke, Assistant Professor, Sociology, and Jeff Judd, Associate Professor in Teacher Education, conducted a session on “Assessing the AA Degree – Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Diversity.”
  • Kathleen Cabral, Marketing & Communication Director, co-presented, “Survey Says?!” with Dr. Pam Cox-Otto.
  • Michael Cawdery, Assistant Professor, Teacher Education Program, presented, “But Mr., What Does it Look Like?” Open Education Resources (OER) and the Real World Curriculum.”
  • Ross Higa, Assistant Professor in Management, Helmut Kae, Assistant Professor in Microbiology, Wayde Oshiro, Head Librarian, Leanne Riseley, EMC Coordinator, presented “Real Stories From the OER Frontlines: Lessons Learned from Open Textbook Adopters.”
  • Chris Gilbert, Instructor in Speech and Amanda Silliman, Lecturer in English, presented a session on: “Teaching Strategies for Early College Classrooms - How Teaching High Schoolers Made Me a Better College Teacher.”
  • Sandy Hoshino, Job Prep Services Coordinator, Allan Nebrija, College Recruiter , and Cori Conner, Job Prep Services Specialist, presented: “Emsi Career Coach – A Tech Tool to Careers.”
  • Sania Faamaile Betty Ickes, Assistant Professor of History, co-presented a session entitled:“The Pasefika Passion Pipeline (3-P): Addressing the Unique Challenges Faced by Non-NHPI Students in Their Pursuit of Learning at Post-Secondary Institutions.”
  • Rick Kang, G2FO Counselor, Wai‘anae Education Center, Danny Wyatt, Coordinator, Wai‘anae Education Center, and Eiko Kosasa, Assistant Professor, Political Science, presented, “Access To Education: Providing An Alternative.”
  • Joy Mahiko, Coordinator, OCEWD, and Jo Ann Cagasan, Educational Specialist, First to Work, Development, presented “THRIVE (Teaching Habits to Reach Independence and Viable Employability): A 16- Week Course to Assist Individuals with Preparing for and Retaining Employment.”
  • Wayde Oshiro, Head Librian, co-presented with UH librarians a session on, "Challenges and Opportunities: Lowering Textbook Costs Across the System.”
  • Blanca Polo, Associate Professor in ICS, presented, “Studio-Based Learning Makes Team Work Fun and Productive.”
  • Ralph Toyama, Systems Librarian, presented "Website Accessibility: An Overview of Issues and Solutions."
  • Gwen Williams, Professor in Human Services, “Becoming a Spiral Educator: A Spiral Dynamics Model Provides a Framework for Recognizing Why Individuals, Societies, and Institutions Think What They Think and Do What They Do.”
  • Michele Mahi, Instructor, Speech, and Christy Takamure, Associate Professor, Speech, “Making a Great Impression.”
  • Stanley May, Professor, Business Technology, Kelsie Aguilera, Instructor, Anthropology, and Jeffrey Breitenfeldt, Instructor, English, presented a session on: “Writing Assignments: A Way to Deepen Understanding of Course Content, Develop Critical Thinking Skills, and Help Students Develop the Level of Writing Skills Demanded by Employers.”
  • Emily Uribe, Mathematics Lecturer, and Catherine Walker, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, co- presented a session with other faculty on, “P–20 Student Success through Ethnomathematics.”
  • Tasha Williams, Instructor in English, presented a session on, “Learn How to Assess Your Students with the Daly-Miller Survey to Help Them Overcome Their Writing Fears.”

Kay Ono, Professor in Business Technology, served on the Executive Board of the Hawaii Business Education Association.

Wayde Oshiro, Head Librarian, co-presented a session, "Check Us Out: New Services at Our Libraries," at the 2016 Hawaii Library Association Conference at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in November 2016. Wayde also served as 2016 Past President for the Hawaiian-Pacific Chapter Special Libraries Association.

Wayde Oshiro, Ralph Toyama, Systems Librarian and Carina Chernisky, Public Services Specialist presented, "Changing Faces: The Journey to a New Leeward CC Library Website" at the 2016 Hawaii Library Association Conference at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in November 2016.

Bryson Padasdao, Instructor, Engineering & Physics, presented a session entitled "Energy-Scavenging Wearable Respiratory Biosensors" and "Triboelectric Respiratory Sensors" at the 39th International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society in Jeju Island, Korea.

Annemarie Paikai, Hawaii- Pacific Resource Librarian, co-presented a session entitled, “Let Me Refer You to Our H/P Librarian: Hawaii-Pacific Info Lit Across Disciplines” at the Conference: Hawaii Information Literacy Summit in April, 2017.

Blanca Polo, Associate Professor in ICS, published a chapter, "Adapting the Studio Based Learning Methodology to Computer Science Education” in the book New Directions in Computing Education.

Kale'a Silva, Assistant Professor in Education, presented a session entitled: “Mentoring Beyond the Degree” at the 2017 National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs conference in March 2017 in San Francisco, California.

Ralph Toyama, Systems Librarian, presented "Are You Open Today? A Simple JavaScript Project," at the Hawaii Library Association Annual Conference at UH Hilo on November 11, 2016.

Natalie Wahl, Instruction Librarian, presented "Science Labs in the Library: A Cross-Campus Collaboration" at the first Hawaii Information Literacy Summit on April 13, 2017 at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Curtis Washburn, Dean of Student Services, co-authored an article title: “Changes in Faculty Practice for International Students: A Case Study,” published in Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal, Volume 10, Issue 1, April 2017.

Rae Watanabe, Assistant Profressor of English, is the lead author of “Twenty Years of the Marriage Equality Movement in Hawaii: Stories of LGBTQ+ Hate, Fear, Hope and Love in the University of Hawaii System,” published in Equity in Higher Education Theory, Policy and Praxis, Volume 7.

Erin Yuasa, Lecturer in Art, received the Hawaii State Foundation for Culture and the Arts Acquisition Award in conjunction with Ceramics of Hawaii juried exhibition in December 2016 at Honolulu Museum of Art, Linekona Gallery


Joshlyn Castillo, Leeward student, who has studied at both Leeward CC and Kapiʻolani CC, was the recipient of a three-year Monbukagakuso scholarship from the Japanese Government. She is the only 2017 Monbukagakusho Scholarship recipient from the U.S.

Diane Ramos, a teacher education major has been selected as Hawaiʻi’s New Century Scholar. Ramos achieved the state’s highest score in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition.

Thank you to all who responded to the call for information on the many accomplishments of our faculty, staff, lecturers, and students from June 2016-May 2017.

If there is an accomplishment or achievement that is not listed here, please send the information to Cindy Martin at cindymar@hawaii.edu for future listing.